On the other side of the fence – conducting my first interview

interview2Have you ever prepared a long time for an exam -reading books, understanding theories, and thinking about examples- but forgotten to think about a way of introducing the subject you are supposed to talk about? I have- and not only for an exam but for a real life experience- conducting an interview.

Months of reading about building rapport, communication skills, questionnaire design and interview techniques- all to realise in the morning before the interview that I had no idea whatsoever about how to start the interview. You know, that small talk before the actual action so that the interviewee should become comfortable and relaxed to answer the questions; but also the introduction. I had never thought before then that the interviewee needed an understanding of how the interview was going to roll out. When I was asked by my manager about how I was going to start my interview, my answer was ‘I don’t know, maybe with the first question?’. My manager started laughing thinking I was joking. Then the laughter stopped when he realised my intention of doing so was real.

The next hour was the most intense hour of study I had ever had until then. In just one hour my manager talked me through the different steps, the right words, the right body language, attitude- basically he connected all the reading that I had done for months before that. And it was a success! The interview went smoothly; I managed to get all the answers I was looking for, the interviewee declared himself very comfortable to talk and it was shown through his interaction and honest answers.

That one hour of receiving information that was logically structured worked best for me than hours of reading- do you think this approach would work for you?


BSc Human Resources Management on placement at Cummins